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Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary-General

Office of the Spokesperson for the Secretary General

 

 

 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE NOON BRIEFING

 

 

BY FARHAN HAQ, ACTING DEPUTY SPOKESPERSON FOR SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON

MONDAY, 20 DECEMBER 2010

 

 

 

CÔTE D’IVOIRE: ANY ATTACK ON U.N. FORCES WILL BE AN ATTACK ON INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY, SECRETARY-GENERAL STRESSES

  • In a statement issued on Côte d’Ivoire over the weekend, the Secretary-General made clear once more that any attack on UN forces will be an attack on the international community and those responsible for these actions will be held accountable. Any continued actions obstructing and constricting UN operations are similarly unacceptable. The UN Operation in Côte d’Ivoire (UNOCI) will fulfill its mandate and will continue to monitor and document any human rights violations, incitement to hatred and violence, or attacks on UN peacekeepers, the Secretary-General said.
     

  • Today in Abidjan, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative, Choi Young-jin, said that UNOCI is focusing on two fundamental aspect of its mandate: the certification of elections and the maintenance of peace, which includes the protection of civilians and the Golf Hotel.
     

  • Mr. Choi said that we estimate at least 50 deaths, 200 people injured and 470 people arbitrarily arrested and detained. Many cases of disappearances have also come to light. He added that, despite being blocked and harassed, most essential UNOCI staff are carrying on with their work, and we are carrying out military and police patrols across the country.
     

  • On Sunday, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay expressed deep concern about the growing evidence of massive violations of human rights taking place in Côte d’Ivoire since 16 December.  She noted the reports about the abduction of individuals from their homes, especially at night, by unidentified armed individuals in military uniform.
     

  • Asked about the Gbagbo side’s lack of acceptance of UNOCI, the Spokesperson said that the Security Council has endorsed the recognition by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the African Union of Alassane Ouattara as President elect. Laurent Gbagbo lost the election, and, as such, the international community has called for him to step aside and yield power to Mr. Ouattara. 
     

  • Haq said that the matter will be brought to the attention of the Security Council, which established UNOCI and is the only body with the authority to terminate its mandate.

 

SECURITY COUNCIL UPDATED ON RECENT DEVELOPMENTS IN CÔTE D’IVOIRE, VOTES ON RENEWING PEACEKEEPERS’ MANDATE

  • Immediately following a briefing by Chairmen of subsidiary bodies, the Security Council began consultations on the situation in Côte d'Ivoire, where Council members received an update on recent developments by Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping Operations Alain Le Roy.
     

  • The Council, in a formal meeting afterward, adopted a resolution urging all the Ivorian parties and stakeholders to respect the will of the people and the outcome of the election in view of ECOWAS and African Union’s recognition of Alassane Dramane Ouattara as President-elect of Côte d’Ivoire and representative of the freely expressed voice of the Ivorian people as proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission.
     

  • The Security Council resolution also renewed the mandate of UNOCI, as set out in resolution 1933 (2010), until 30 June 2011.
     

  • The Council also scheduled a meeting on threats to international peace and security caused by terrorist acts. Later, the Security Council held consultations on the UN Disengagement Observer Force (UNDOF) in the Golan Heights.
     

  • On Sunday, the Security Council also held consultations on the situation in the Korean peninsula.
     

  • Asked whether the Secretary-General would send an envoy to the Korean peninsula, the Spokesperson noted that, earlier this year, the Secretary-General had send Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs B. Lynn Pascoe to the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea. He added that, for now, the Security Council was considering the issue of the peninsula and that we would await any unified position by the Council.

 

DARFUR: ALL STAKEHOLDERS IN U.N.-SUPPORTED MEDIATION VOICE SUPPORT FOR DOHA PEACE PROCESS

  • The Mediation working to finalize the Doha peace process for Darfur said in a statement that all stakeholders expressed their support to the Doha process, their readiness to endorse the outcomes from the talks, and their wish to be closely involved in the final phase of the peace process. The Mediation also plans to consult with the refugees in the near future.
     

  • The Mediation says all those consulted particularly stressed the importance of an inclusive process that would deliver a comprehensive and sustainable peace for Darfur. As such they underscored the necessity for all armed movements to participate without delay.
     

  • Consultations between the Justice and Equality Movement (JEM) and the Mediation on the Movement’s return to the peace process have resulted in the resumption of ceasefire negotiations between the Government of Sudan and JEM in Doha.

 

SITUATION IN KHOR ABECHE REMAINS TENSE, U.N.-AFRICAN UNION MISSION REPORTS

  • The UN-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) reports that the current situation remains tense, following earlier clashes between Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and Sudan Liberation Army/Minni Minawi (SLA/MM) forces in Khor Abeche, north-east of Nyala in South Darfur.
     

  • The mission said that, following overnight shelling heard in the outskirts of Khor Abeche, UNAMID expects more internally-displaced persons, currently believed to be hiding in the bush, to come to the team site. Urgent humanitarian support is therefore needed.

 

WESTERN SAHARA: TWO NEW ROUNDS OF INFORMAL TALKS TO BE HELD IN 2011

  • Delegations from Morocco and the Frente Polisario attended a fourth round of informal talks on Western Sahara at Greentree, Long Island, from 16 to 18 December 2010.
     

  • In a communiqué at the end of the talks, the Secretary-General’s Personal Envoy, Christopher Ross said that, by the end of the meeting, each party continued to reject the proposal of the other as a sole basis for future negotiations.
     

  • Within the framework of the pertinent Security Council resolutions relevant to the ongoing negotiations process, the parties engaged in extensive discussions on innovative approaches to create a new dynamic in the negotiating process in 2011 on the basis of regular meetings. In this regard, both parties proposed concrete ideas that will be developed at the next two rounds of informal talks, to be held from 21 to 22 January and in March 2011.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE CHIEF CALLS FOR QUICK FOLLOW UP TO CANCUN AGREEMENTS

  • Nations must follow up the successful UN Climate Change Conference in Cancún with higher global emission cuts and the rapid launch of new institutions and funds to show the world that a new era of international cooperation on climate change is an established fact, Christiana Figueres, Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said today.
     

  • According to the UNFCC, if all these targets and actions are fully implemented, UN estimates show they could deliver only 60 percent of the emission reductions that science says will be needed to stay below the agreed two degree rise in average temperatures; a two-degree rise does not guarantee the survival of the most vulnerable peoples.
     

  • The Cancún Agreements also include the most comprehensive package ever agreed by governments to help developing nations deal with climate change, including new institutions, funding channels and a technology transfer mechanism to help the developing world build its own sustainable, low-emissions future, adapt more effectively to climate change, and preserve and protect its forests for the good of all nations.
     

  • Figueres said that she expected in particular to see rapid decisions on appointing the board of the new Green Fund and the Committee of the Technology Mechanism.

 

OTHER ANNOUNCEMENTS

 

SRI LANKA PANEL ON TRACK TO SUBMIT ITS REPORT ON SCHEDULE: Asked about the work of the advisory panel dealing with Sri Lanka, the Spokesperson said that the deadline for submissions to that panel was being extended until the end of the year. He said the panel was on track to submit its report on schedule.

 

U.N. CONTINUES TO SUPPORT WORK OF THE SPECIAL TRIBUNAL FOR LEBANON: In response to questions, the Spokesperson said that the United Nations continues to support the work of the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

 

***The guest today at the Noon Briefing was Susan Malcorra, Under-Secretary-General for Field Support.

 

  

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